Re: Canadian Sea Scouting Uniforms
Tue, 01 Apr 1997 12:21:26 -0800
>Tradition is a lot like religion when it is viewed narrowly. It sets
>people to arguing about phantoms.
>Actually, I'm pleased to see that "tradition" is alive and well in Sea
>Scouting; that people are arguing over uniforms in the same manner that
>church prelates once argued over the number of angels that could dance
>upon the head of a pin. And with the same affect.
>Uniforms in history (and tradition) are anything but... uniform. Every
>branch of service and every service organization has individual styles
>based on current fashion as well as utility. Watch a Shriners parade or
>a military parade and my point is proven. If uniforms were strictly
>uniform, parades wouldn't be parades, they would be "borings."
>Do you want more evidence? Look to the Civil War. Students of that
>period often wonder how friends distinguished their foes. Union soldiers
>came dressed as Turks, Prussians, and more. Confederates often looked
>Uniforms change with time. I was a Vietnam era soldier and we referred
>to the oldtimers as the "Brown Shoe Army." In Officer Candidate School
>we distinguished ourselves by painting our helmet liners and wearing
>cravats; very un-uniform. I recently saw a uniform and didn't recognize
>its wearer as a member of the Army. I wonder how they refer to us
>Vietnam vets? (Kinder I hope than our contemporaries.)
>Please, do not suppose that I am critical of your debate. You may find
>it interesting that the youth are equally fervent in their opinions.
>Orange County ships adopted a casual dress uniform some years ago. It
>consists of a plain white shortsleeve shirt with appropriate patches
>(worn over a white turtleneck sweater in cold weather), blue slacks, and
>no hat. When my ship, the Buccaneers were formed, the youth elected to
>wear traditional Navy blues. I was pleased. The other youth of Orange
>County were not (vocally so). Tough.
>Personally, I enjoy the diversity. I enjoy watching the parade at the
>Ancient Mariner's Regatta each Memorial Day Weekend. Last year, a unit
>showed up wearing traditional Navy blues supplemented by leggings and
>Popeye pipes. Their sense of whimsy was highly entertaining; even more
>so when they chose to march in the cadence employed during the Civil War
>period. I enjoyed watching an ROTC-style unit marching with pretend
>rifles and practicing the manual of arms (this set some old-timers
>grumbling about militaristic overtones). I enjoyed the grumbling.
>So let the debate continue, but please don't enforce one uniform. Keep
>your senses of humor and remember what we're really here for.
>Jack Durish, Skipper
>SSS 935 - Buccaneer
>Orange County, California
A man of inestimable taste and reason!
Christopher Fox, XO, SES Mariner (also hailing from O.C. California)